NFLPA: Don't Play for the Jaguars
The NFLPA is warning players that the team is not following the CBA
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) has taken an extraordinary step against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The issue between the union and the league is over the Jaguars violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) surrounding mandatory rehab and medical appointments over the 2018 offseason.
According to the union, a player on the team was fined more than $700,000 for missing what the team deemed “mandatory” rehab sessions, even though this violated the CBA. When the union filed a grievance, the arbitrator agreed with the NFLPA, ruling that under the CBA, clubs cannot require rehab or medical appointments at team facilities in the offseason.
The NFLPA also had a warning for its members. In a statement, they said “In the last two years, more than 25% of grievances filed by players in the entire league have been filed against the Jaguars. You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club”
This is a damning indictment coming from the union and a damning indictment of the culture that Tom Coughlin and the owner of the team, Shad Khan, have fostered in Jacksonville. In the past two seasons two of their best players, Dante Fowler (the subject of the $700,000 in fines) and Jalen Ramsey have had falling outs with the team. After the statement from the NFLPA was released, Fowler had this to say on Twitter:
They literally hated me . I got it all back though! Thanks to the NFLPA https://t.co/vUIg5tsKvr
— Dante fowler (@dantefowler) December 16, 2019
It is clear from the players' reaction that if the Jaguars want to compete in 2020 they will need to change their culture. Coughlin has always had a reputation as a hard ass, but his blatant violations of the CBA go too far. If he wants to recruit free agents in the future, he either needs to make a change or finally retire.